How To Respond to Negative Reviews: 4 Steps
Every dentist receives bad reviews. Take a breath! Here’s your proven strategy on how to handle your negative review with professionalism and class.
Whether it was a misunderstanding on the patient’s side or a mistake by your team, a negative online review needs to be viewed as an opportunity for improvement. Our strategy reflects this.
Google, Facebook, and Yelp will not remove negative reviews. The only way it will come down is if the patient removes it. Therefore, the goal is to ease the disgruntled patient into removing the review themselves, or at the very least, showing others reading the review that you care about your patients.
That being said, 90% of negative Dental Reviews are price or insurance-related. You found a cavity that a second-opinion dentist didn’t, so they view your practice as a scam.
We have found that this strategy not only convinces patients to remove the negative review, in some cases, our strategy has also converted these patients into passionate supporters of our practices.
Now, on to the strategy...
Negative Reviews Strategy:
1 - Contact directly, ask to remedy the situation, THEN ask them to take down.
- The conversation should be based on the issue - it’s not a blame game. Listen to what the patient says, validate their feelings, then make moves to remedy the problem. Many times, disgruntled patients just want to be heard, and your gesture to contact them and listen may be enough. Only once the patient is happy, do you ask them to take it down.
2 - If you cannot remedy the problem, respond to the negative review:
“We are sorry that this patient felt this way about our practice. At our practice, we offer a very high standard of care, and it may seem expensive at first. We believe that taking care of your teeth is tantamount to your general well being and overall health. We try to fully inform our patients as to their needs. We do hope that this patient finds a dental practice that they love because that is what is most important.”
- Validation + patient-first mindset will reflect well on any prospective patient reading the negative review. We are not blaming the patient.
3 - Let it die.
4 - Ask supportive patients to comment on the negative review.
- This should be the last resort in desperate situations. Social Proof can be an effective method of cooling the burn of a negative review. If prospective patients see that others who have been in your office are passionate enough to defend you, then it can be inferred that this negative experience must be an outlier.
Note: The comment should simply be a positive review, not an attack on the disgruntled patient.
The true best way to defend against negative reviews is a large accumulation of positive reviews.
If you’d like to how we can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org